Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema claimed in an interview with Power FM on Friday that President Cyril Ramaphosa had offered him a Cabinet position. He said he was in a meeting with Floyd Shivambu and the president when the offer was made, though the two turned it down.
Malema said the president may have made the offers as a way of silencing the EFF in parliament.
He said: “There was an offer when Ramaphosa came that we can serve in his Cabinet and we said we’re not available to serve under the ANC Cabinet. We had a meeting with president Ramaphosa where the offer was made, and we said no. There was no specific position that was offered but [a deputy ministry was offered].
“We were in a meeting, the three of us, me, him and Shivambu and we said that he must be given a chance to lead, he must do his own thing, we will assess after if indeed he is a good leader, we don’t want to to be part of his Cabinet. I know Cyril for who he is, he is a negotiator, he was trying to take chances for the sake of peace perhaps in parliament, but also for the liquidation of the EFF because I’ve seen how they liquidated Azapo, I was there.”
Ramaphosa was recorded speaking on a walkabout in Tshwane early last year saying that he wanted EFF members to rejoin the ANC because the ANC was their true home.
He said: “The EFF members, we would want to welcome them back. In fact, I would be able to say we would love to have Julius Malema back in the ANC.
“He is still ANC down deep in his heart. So we would like to have those who are in the EFF back. Because the ANC is their home.”
Ramaphosa’s comments came after anti-apartheid icon and Nelson Mandela’s former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said she would persuade Malema to rejoin the ANC.
Malema previously also ruled out a return to the ANC where he once headed the party’s powerful Youth League.
(Additional reporting by Charles Cilliers)